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Old 07-19-2017, 09:15 PM   #1
Gti jake
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Mk7 Exhaust Tech. How to get the sound you want.

There's a constant flow of questions around here revolving around achieving desired sound. With the volume of PMs I've been getting and similar threads started on a daily basis I figured I'd take a few minutes to explain the basics here. This is non biased towards any one set up, brand, or budget. Just a what you'll need guide to help you choose from our growing list of options for these cars. So here we go.

First things first. DRONE. Nobody wants it, here's how to avoid it.

The stock downpipe is the only major restriction in any mk7 exhaust 1.8T/GTI/R. If you leave it in place the stock resonator is sufficient for eliminating drone (buzzing, unpleasant vibrations felt through the chassis of the car...can cause headaches and fatigue and is overall tiring after any amount of time) regardless of what you choose to do with the cat back.

If you upgrade to an aftermarket downpipe drone is going to be an issue without a proper resonator. After tons of research and personal experience the ONLY resonators I'll suggest are long case length/high volume designs. This DOES NOT INCLUDE THE Vibrant UQ or Ultra Quite. It's short case and overall small size (volume as in sq in inside) is not sufficient to stop our engine from droning w/o the restrictive stock DP. This problem also includes the stock resonator so count it out as well. The third set up that flat out won't work is adding multiple resonators...You only need one resonator, having multiple inadequate ones doesn't multiply their effectiveness.

I highly suggest the Vibrant 17950 (3” inlet/outlet). The 2.5” 17930 does not slip fit over OEM exhaust tubing, so if you’re already replacing the midpipe to accommodate the resonator you might as well continue 3” from the downpipe while you’re at it. Of course there are several cat backs that already include a good/proper sized resonator in that location (AWE, APR, CTS) as an option but the Vibrant units can be added to any catback lacking a res.

Cat back / axle back The resonator controls frequency and the muffler controls volume, so now that you've got a frequency that's drone free you're down to adjusting volume. Regardless of cat/catless resonator/non resonated the muffler controls volume (sometimes adjustable if you're cat back is valved like the factory Golf R. You'll want a straight through design to keep it high flow, then select the size based on how much you want to turn the volume down vs not having a muffler at all. Plenty of options mild to wild, as well as OEM+
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Last edited by Gti jake; 10-28-2018 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:23 PM   #2
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:25 PM   #3
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Hopefully we can keep this at the top and avoid answering the same questions all day. If anyone has input I can update the OP, but this covers the basics. Sound is very subjective but this will help give a starting point for building a game plan to meet anyone's goals

Edit: pictures of OEM tubing, slightly oversized so 2.5” parts will not slip fit over it
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Last edited by Gti jake; 10-28-2018 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:31 PM   #4
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Great job Jake! What about the billy boat timbre cylinder? Worth it?
http://www.bbexhaust.com/shop/univer...mbre-cylinder/

And maybe add a bit about exhaust tips and how they do not change the sound? Seems that question comes up weekly too.

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Old 07-19-2017, 09:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AtlantaDad View Post
Great job Jake! What about the billy boat timbre cylinder? Worth it?
http://www.bbexhaust.com/shop/univer...mbre-cylinder/

And maybe add a bit about exhaust tips and how they do not change the sound? Seems that question comes up weekly too.

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I've seen mixed reviews on that and haven't seen any personally out in the wild, but I'm sure Sugarmouth will chime in. Would be great with a video clip or something

I haven't run across the exhaust tip thing, just seems like everyone wants bigger tips and more of them than fits my tastes. That's really a preference thing so I'll probably just stay neutral on that. But like AtlantaDad said exhaust tips will have zero effect on anything but appearance
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:22 PM   #6
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Just to clarify - if you get a non resonated catted downpipe (i believe there's a small resonator on the stock downpipe) you recommend only one resonator to eliminate drone and that would be the vibrant one mentioned to replace the long stock one?
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teemmy View Post
Just to clarify - if you get a non resonated catted downpipe (i believe there's a small resonator on the stock downpipe) you recommend only one resonator to eliminate drone and that would be the vibrant one mentioned to replace the long stock one?
For you in the bay? Yes. Uphill climbs bring out the worst in drone. For me in these flat midwest lands? Not a big deal. It's quiet on the highway at 70-80 where I am most of the time. Small vibrant and stock resonators with my DP.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teemmy View Post
Just to clarify - if you get a non resonated catted downpipe (i believe there's a small resonator on the stock downpipe) you recommend only one resonator to eliminate drone and that would be the vibrant one mentioned to replace the long stock one?
Yes, the stock DP has two cats.

Ideally you replace with a 200 cell catted 3" DP and whichever of those two Vibrant resonators match your tubing diameter
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:07 PM   #9
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So.... what would happen if you cut out a stock resonator and welded on a vibrant..... with a stock downpipe? I'm just asking to ask. Whatcha think jake
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:39 PM   #10
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Nice thread op. I'm gonna try the Vibrant 17930 in place of the stock resonator.
I have a catted/resonated DP with stock cat-back setup and don't like how it sounds as is so hoping the vibrant resonator will improve with the sound.
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacDawg View Post
Nice thread op. I'm gonna try the Vibrant 17930 in place of the stock resonator.
I have a catted/resonated DP with stock cat-back setup and don't like how it sounds as is so hoping the vibrant resonator will improve with the sound.
Same setup (catted/resonated w/ stock catback), but I actually kinda like the sound currently. Maybe I won't once the honeymoon is over though...lol. Curious how this works out for you.

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Old 07-20-2017, 12:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by AtlantaDad View Post
Same setup (catted/resonated w/ stock catback), but I actually kinda like the sound currently. Maybe I won't once the honeymoon is over though...lol. Curious how this works out for you.

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It doesn't sound bad at lower rpms but when part throttle and after 3k rpm it sounds a bit ricey to me.
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:37 AM   #13
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I'm considering the MAP catted/resonated DP to mate to my magnaflow catback....would you suggest the larger resonator given your description? Would it have space in my current and planned setup?
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by psychonosspaz View Post
I'm considering the MAP catted/resonated DP to mate to my magnaflow catback....would you suggest the larger resonator given your description? Would it have space in my current and planned setup?
I'd buy the DP with just a cat and add the 17950 in the straight part of the magnaflow. I talked a few guys into that already and they love it
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:29 AM   #15
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So.... what would happen if you cut out a stock resonator and welded on a vibrant..... with a stock downpipe? I'm just asking to ask. Whatcha think jake
I don't think you'd notice anything honestly, the stock downpipe is like putting a pillow over a speaker. It takes so much out of the exhaust note that even deleting the res completely doesn't make much difference
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:31 AM   #16
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It doesn't sound bad at lower rpms but when part throttle and after 3k rpm it sounds a bit ricey to me.
3,000 rpm is when our variable valve timing kicks in. The harsher note is what we're fighting with a larger volume resonator
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:45 AM   #17
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So is there a catted resonated dp out there that is drone free? I know ultimate racing has one, but I've read mixed reviews about the fitment. Any other high quality dp options out there?
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